BMed (Newcastle); PhD (UWA)



Social Medicine
2020

Professor Sandra Eades is Dean of Medicine at Curtin University. Professor Eades was previous Associate Dean Indigenous at Melbourne University and held leadership roles in the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Sydney University, the Sax Institute and the Telethonkids Institute. She has been recognised as a leader winning the 2015 inaugural Lowitja Institute Aboriginal health research leadership award, the 2006 New South Wales Woman of the Year award, the Public Health Association of New South Wales Outstanding Achievement Award and was named as one of 100 Aboriginal women (living or deceased) who have achieved change in their communities by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance. She has a National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship named in her honour, the Sandra Eades award for an Aboriginal Rising Star Early Career Fellowship. 

Her research has focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, in particular child and adolescent health, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. She has led pioneering research that that documented links between the social determinants of health and poor health outcomes for Aboriginal pregnant women, children and youth. She wrote the earliest evidence based reports for the initiation of Commonwealth funded Aboriginal maternal and child health services. 

Through national collaborations she co-led the establishment of important large scale studies of Aboriginal child and adolescent health including the West Australian Aboriginal Child Health Study, the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Child Health (SEARCH) of more than 1000 Indigenous children from New South Wales aged 0 to 17 years old and the Next Generation Youth Health study of 1300 Aboriginal young people aged 10-24. The evidence from these studies and related research has contributed to key government reports on Aboriginal maternal, child and youth health. 

Other pioneering research used large scale data linkage studies with total population data from three generations of Aboriginal West Australians to explore influences on Indigenous infant birth weight. This work showed that Aboriginal infant birth weight was underpinned by factors in the current generation and found no evidence for the influence of intergeneration factors such as epigenetics which are theorised to have an influence on infant birth weight. The same large scale data linkage studies have been used to documented gaps in health and human rights, showing that almost twenty percent of Indigenous children born in Western Australia over a thirty year period did not have their birth registered. 

Her current mixed methods research is focused on reducing Aboriginal child removals, testing new interventions focused on Aboriginal youth mental health. Professor Eades was the first Aboriginal doctor to complete a PhD. Throughout her career she has been a leader, supervisor and mentor to other Aboriginal researchers and played a key role in reshaping the health and medical research policy and funding programs to expand and prioritise Aboriginal health research and the development of Aboriginal researchers.


Fellow of Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

1. Heris CL, Eades SJ, Lyons L, Chamberlain C, Thomas DP. Changes in the age young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people start smoking, 2002-2015. Public Health Res Pract. 2020 Jun 30;30(2):29121906.

2. Temple JB, Wilson T, Taylor A, Kelaher M, Eades S. Ageing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population: numerical, structural, timing and spatial aspects. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2020 Jun 8.

3. Gibberd, Alison, Simpson Judy, Eades Sandra. ‘No official identity: a data linkage study of birth registration of Aboriginal children in Western Australia” Aust N Z J Public Health 2016 Aug;40(4):388-94.

4. Gibberd AJ, Simpson JM, McNamara BJ, Eades SJ. Maternal fetal programming of birthweight among Australian Aboriginal infants: a population-based data linkage study. Lancet Glob Health. 2019 Apr;7(4):e523-e532.

5. Eades, Sandra J.; Sanson-Fisher, Rob W.; Wenitong, Mark; et al. An intensive smoking intervention for pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: a randomised controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia Volume: 197 Issue: 1 Pages: 42-46